Child covering his eyes.

Mettre fin à la mortalité infantile

SEATTLE – Dans bien trop de pays dans le monde, la mortalité infantile est due aux plus petits organismes naturels – les virus, les bactéries et les parasites unicellulaires qui sont la cause notamment de la diarrhée et de la pneumonie. Cet état des choses est inexcusable, étant donné que les énormes progrès réalisés dans le domaine de la santé publique permettent aujourd’hui de prévenir et de guérir ces deux maladies. Il est impératif que tous les enfants, et en particulier ceux qui sont le plus exposés, aient accès aux services de santé qui peuvent leur sauver la vie.

Selon l’UNICEF, la pneumonie et la diarrhée tuent un quart des 5,9 millions d’enfants de moins de cinq ans qui décèdent chaque année. Selon un nouveau rapport de l’International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC), près des trois-quarts des décès dus à la pneumonie et à la diarrhée se produisent dans seulement 15 pays. Dans ces pays et ailleurs, les communautés les plus pauvres et les plus marginalisées sont les plus touchées.

Si les chiffres montrent que des progrès ont été accomplis au cours des dernières décennies, le fait tragique est que l’amélioration aurait pu être bien plus importante si les gouvernements n’avaient pas constamment succombé à la tentation de ne mettre en œuvre qu’une seule, ou deux, intervention à la fois. Pour en finir avec les décès d’enfants liés à ces maladies, les gouvernements doivent s’engager à intensifier simultanément l’ensemble des interventions préconisées par l’Organisation mondiale de la santé et l’UNICEF il y a deux ans dans leur Plan d’action mondial intégré pour prévenir et combattre la pneumonie et la diarrhée.

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